Posts Tagged ‘Giving Tuesday’

The house is empty today. No Legos on the floor, Puffins on the table, or Love Bug saying “Nana!” The kitchen is clean, towels are washed and the bed sheets have all been changed; Bob went into the hospital for a full day of meetings. Great Grandma Ada called to ask me how I feel, and I said, “Strange.” I was just getting used to children’s laughter and smiles. To cuddles for no particular reason. My back however, after picking up a red headed 25 lb Buddha Baby monkey time and again, was telling me another story. Yesterday was spent on a heating pad.

Today it’s not entirely quiet, the drumming rain on the roof is soothing. It’s a good day to write while the mountains are shrouded in fog.

Giving Tuesday is really a day of reflection. Before the holidays move into high gear, and just in time for year-end tax deductions, many of us tithe to the charity of our choice. You may remember that I have a special place in my heart for the Salvation Army. And no, it’s not because of Guys and Dolls, or their irresistible red buckets. The Salvation Army showed up in the Flapper’s life when she needed help and was too proud to ask for it. They knocked on her door in our Year of Living Dangerously, when the Catholic Church turned its back.

But this week is also highlighting Climate Change in Paris. World leaders have gathered to pledge an end to carbon emissions, to try and stem the tide of extreme weather and drought. And just like Bernie Sanders has pointed out, climate is interrelated to conflict, and is directly responsible for  hunger and forced migrations of people due to environmental degradation and natural disasters.

If temperatures rise by only 2C, then millions more people would be affected across Central America, Africa and Asia. If temperatures were to rise between 4C and 5C, the map becomes covered in hotspots – suggesting a semi-pemanent food disaster in many parts of the world. WFP executive director, Ertharin Cousin, will not predict the cost of providing humanitarian food aid on a much larger scale, but accepts it is likely to be many tens of billions of dollars a year. “Climate change has the potential to reverse the whole development path,” she says.              http://www.theguardian.com/environment/cop-21-un-climate-change-conference-paris

When Bob returns home, we’ll talk about giving to some different non-profits today. Like:

The City of Light has stood up to terrorism by hosting the COP21: UN Climate Change Conference following November 13. But the news I found most hopeful was the back-door dealings of President Obama and Putin. I don’t need to know what was said, if any agreement was reached. Both men could save face by staying behind a beautiful French silk curtain. Iron curtains are so last century. Because we need both of our countries to lead in this global struggle for Mother Earth.   IMG_3508

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This was another phrase the Flapper used regularly. As a young child, I wasn’t quite sure what she meant. She was living “hand to mouth” for many years; widowed, crippled by a drunk driver, small children at home. She was radically frugal, as many Depression era people could be, mending clothes and never throwing out food, always finding creative ways to serve leftovers, if we had any. Too proud to take help from the Salvation Army, I thought she meant we take care of our own – save money for my brothers so they could go to college. If there was some left, maybe I’d be able to go, the last of 6. When you grow up poor, having new shoes on your feet and good food on the table was enough. After all, we had each other. Charity was something you tried to avoid, there was little or nothing left to give at the end of the year.

I tend to think of it differently now. Today is “Giving Tuesday” http://givingtuesday.org: “We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. This year help create #GivingTuesday™, the giving season’s opening day.”

Bob and I tend to give to those causes we are passionate about, like the Salvation Army. Not only do they have a history with my family, they seem to be the first to show up after a natural disaster. I am also deeply committed to women’s reproductive health and saving Roe vs Wade. It is not counter-intuitive to think that abortion rates would fall in this country with increased access to contraception. So Planned Parenthood is on my list: http://news.yahoo.com/us-abortions-fall-5-pct-biggest-drop-decade-171356037.html And I’m not thinking twice about it. Donating to our colleges will also be on the list.

But if we take my Mother’s advice further, charitable giving also includes delivering bags of food to the local Food Bank. Buying the clothes and toys listed on a giving tree for a disadvantaged child in our community. Volunteering at the Charlottesville Free Clinic. And when our children were young, we would help to serve Christmas dinner at a local church through our synagogue. I can’t stress how important modeling this kind of service is for your children. Time or money, if you can donate to a cause that resonates with you, all the better. Here is a quick read to help you navigate websites for different charities, It’s important to do the research.

Hurricane Sandy relief efforts will be foremost in my thoughts this year. The Parlor Mob’s music was set to this surfer’s American Red Cross appeal: http://www.surfermag.com/videos/jersey-love/ “There’s nothin’ like Jersey when it’s good.” But if you really want to help our area, there is always Woody’s in Sea Bright, or what is left standing in Sea Bright. “Like” this Facebook page to see what our old neighbors need: https://www.facebook.com/SeaBrightRising?fref=ts

And as my editor reminded me, our little stocking stuffer book, “Tangerine Tango” (just click on the book in the margin) is donating its profits to fight Huntington’s Disease http://www.hdsa.org If you’re not familiar with her blog, I can highly recommend Lisa’s slice of NJ life! http://cyclingrandma.wordpress.com. Happy Giving everyone.

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